There are approximately 7.4 billion people on earth. Says Will Steffen, an emeritus professor with the Fenner School of Environment and Society at the Australian National University, our calamitous abuse of our planet’s resources makes it unlikely that it could really sustain a population of 11 billion in the future. We should stabilise the global population, “hopefully at around nine billion,” says Steffen, “and then begin a long, slow trend of decreasing population. That means reducing fertility rates.”
However, Agence France-Presse reports that Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan publicly promoted population growth in Turkey in a statement issued in late May 2016.
The president declared that Turkish women are responsible for ensuring that Turkey’s population growth, which has steadily expanded over the last decade, continues. “I will say it clearly… We need to increase the number of our descendants,” said Erdogan in a speech in Istanbul.
Previously, Erdogan has said that “a woman is above all else a mother”. In 2014, he stated that using birth control pills was a “treasonable act”. And in his most famous statement on the issue, he said: “One (child) means loneliness, two means rivalry, three means balance and four means abundance.”
Various gender rights groups condemned Erdogan’s latest pronouncement. The Platform to Stop Violence Against Women, which campaigns to stop the killings of hundreds of woman every year, said on Twitter, “You (Erdogan) cannot usurp our right to contraception, nor our other rights with your declarations that come out of the Middle Ages.” It added: “We will protect our rights.”
According to the country’s statistics office, Turkey’s population rose to 78.741 million last year. The population in 2000 was less than 68 million.
Category: Spring 2016